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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Tormach Personal CNC Mill > Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?
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  1. #1
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    Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    I have an 1100 S3 that I use nearly every day for work. I also have a 4th axis that came with my commercial CNC router. I have never used it to date.
    I was wondering whether I could install this very nice 4th axis on my Tormach 1100 S3? Has anyone else done this. ( I am sure someone has). I am using
    Pathpilot and Fusion 360 for my G-code. Want to be able to machine turnbuckle eyes without having to use a 5C collect holder and flip it over after the first
    facing operation.

    Any constructive suggestions and pointers will be appreciated. Thanks, Cismontguy

  2. #2

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    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    As long as it uses a bipolar (4 wire) stepper motor to drive it's motion, it can be done. Not that I've used it for anything other than just playing around but I built my own from a dividing head off ebay. Things to watch out for:

    1. Rotation direction. If your spin direction is reversed from expected, either check that you have the correct axis orientation set up in CAM (X+ means the work points to the right, 4th axis is on the left of the table) OR reverse the two wires on ONE of the steppers poles (if you flip both poles, the rotation will not change)
    2. Axis scaling. If you command 360° but the axis moves something other than 360 your scaling is off. First thing is to check your stepper drive dip switches to make sure they are set correctly. If that doesn't solve it, you can change the scale factor for that axis in pathpilot but you will have to do this every time you update pathpilot to a new version. For reference, the standard 6 and 8" 4th axis from tormach is a 90:1 ratio while the microarc is something else (can't remember off hand). My dividing head was a 40:1 i think so I had to change the scale in pathpilot to make it work properly.

  3. #3
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    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    Thanks. This is very helpful. I am interested in trying to spend a little time on this cause I already own the 4th axis and its just sitting here in my shop.
    I could use it for 2nd and 3rd operations on the Tormach if I had it working. May seek you help some more in the future. My biggest concern is hooking
    it up to the Tormach and frying anything. I did download the Tormach 4th axis instructions manual for reference.

    Cismontguy

  4. #4

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    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    Do you have a 4th axis stepper drive already installed? That's really the only place you need to worry about damaging something in the machine. The stepper connection itself can be screwed up but if so you're only going to hurt the driver or the stepper. If you don't have a driver installed, the OE part from Tormach is fairly pricey compared to the other options on the market. The only difference that I've been able to find between their unit and the ones available from every other vendor out there is the type of connector used to plug it into the machine. The Tormach unit has a ribbon cable connector while the other options use a screw clamp style. Should that become a problem, I or others here can send you the wiring pinout to correctly connect things.

  5. #5
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    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    Thanks Soofle616. I do not have a Stepper Driver yet. I was looking at the ones in my 1100 the other day with the idea of trying to find one just like
    it for sale, as you suggested. Its the next step in my Tormach work after I get this Mill-Turning process making parts. The flow will be Mill-Turning
    and then move the parts over to a 4th axis for slotting and possibly even work holding for drilling. I appreciate your help. I will post a picture of my
    4th axis on this thread as soon as I can.

  6. #6

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    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    I should have a driver that will work. When I was setting up my 4th I did some stupid things that led me to believe I had a bad driver when I really didn't. Long story short, I bought another driver that I didn't need so now I have a spare. It's yours for cost of shipping if you want it. I don't have any other use for it. The drivers that are in the machine for XYZ movement won't work as they are for 3-phase steppers, not bipolar.

  7. #7
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    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    Hello Soofle616, I would be glad to take a look at your stepper driver. I can get in touch. Here are the pictures of the 4th axis I have. its says 20:1 ratio on the data plate.
    It has four colored wires as shown in the pictures. Cismontguy.

    Attachment 459152Attachment 459154Attachment 459156

  8. #8
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    Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    Here what I did. Same Leadshine stepper motor and drive Tormach uses I believe.
    The close up photos are how to wire the green connectors including jumpers required. As mentioned the leadshine drives come with the screw trype terminals so rather than try to source and retrofit I used solid bell wires poked into the end of the ribbon cable in lieu off the proper connector. Works perfectly just looks a bit hack.




  9. #9
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    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    Thank you very much for sharing these pictures. They are very helpful and encouraging to me for hooking the 4th axis I already own up to my Tormach. Cismontguy

  10. #10

    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    Have you downloaded the Tormach 4th-axis-integration-kit-pcnc-770-pcnc-1100 install document.

    https://tormach.com/4th-axis-integra...pcnc-1100.html

    That should give you a idea on what parts they use in the control cabinet and their placement

    David

  11. #11
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    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    Yes, I added a Sherline rotary table for small work. It was a matter of getting another plug for the second table's stepper motor so that it could plug into the OEM port. And I have to change one dip switch on the driver, and load a different Mach profile.
    Had I chosen the right size stepper, I wouldn't even have had to change the dip switch. But I was working with a stepper motor that I already had.

    Here's some video of it working.
    https://youtu.be/HOiBB3xEphk

  12. #12
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    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    Wow. That is very cool and what I want to do with the 4th axis I already own.
    Can you help me with you comment about a second plug to fit the OEM port?
    Is that port on the Tormach. I need to go a re-read their installation manual for
    Tormach's 4th axis, so I am more familiar with process. Did you buy the same
    brand, model number of stepper control as your Tormach Mill has? I have been
    looking for these on line. Seems to be some cheap knock offs for same?

    Thank you for sharing this information and video, Its very encouraging.

    Cismontguy

  13. #13
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    Re: Anyone installed/using 4th axis on their 1100 that was NOT from Tormach?

    Yes, Thanks. I need to spend some more time re-reading it. Cismontguy

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